In February we announced that the firearms collection of famed gun writer Elmer Keith would be sold at auction. The Keith Estate auction, conducted March 11-16, drew interest from around the globe, and bidding was strong. When the dust settled, and all the individual lots were totaled, Keith’s remarkable collection sold to various bidders for $1,905,458!
High-priced highlights from the auction are shown below. NOTE: You can see more than 60 other Elmer Keith firearms, along with a list of final auction prices. The Guns & Ammo website has a detailed, illustrated report on the Elmer Keith auction with dozens of high-quality photos.
Lot 1038: Colonel Jim Corbett’s .450/.400 “Tiger Rifle” (Sold for $264,500.00)
Dangerous Game Rifles in Collection
The legendary “Corbett Tiger Rifle”, a Jeffery boxlock .450/400 was used by famed hunter Edward James “Jim” Corbett. This rifle was featured in Corbett’s book Man-Eaters of Kumaon. Two of the man-eating tigers Corbett hunted were believed to have killed over 800 humans in the Kumaon Hills of India.
Lot 1005: Colt SAA No. 5 .44 Special “The Last Word in Sixguns” (Sold for $80,500.00)
This famous revolver started as a Colt SAA, but then was heavily modified. The top strap of the frame was welded up into a flat-top target configuration, with an adjustable rear sight added. The hammer was modified with a Bisley-type target spur. The unique grip of the Number Five was created by marrying a modified Bisley backstrap to a Single Action Army trigger guard. His most famous pistol, Keith called this handgun “The last word in fine six-guns”.
Lot 1041: Westley Richards Droplock .476 NE (Sold for $69,000.00)
Used by Elmer Keith on safari in Tanzania, this was Keith’s preferred Elephant Rifle.
Lot 1020: Smith & Wesson Triple Lock Target Revolvers. (Sold for $39,100.00)
This rare set belonged to Gerrit Forbes and Ed McGivern before being acquired by Elmer Keith.
Photos courtesy of James D. Julia Auctioneers, Fairfield, Maine.
Share the post "Elmer Keith’s Guns Sell for $1.9 Million"
The Hickory Groundhog and Egg Shoot, the richest varmint shoot East of the Mississippi, is just days away. Now in its 35th year, the hugely popular Hickory Shoot will be held this upcoming Saturday, April 4, 2015 starting at 8:00 am. If you have any questions call Larry Willis of Bull’s Eye Sporting Goods, (704) 462-1948.
In years past over $7,000 worth of prizes and cash has been awarded. The normal course of fire is three sets of paper groundhog targets at 100, 300, and 500 yards, and NO Sighters. Shooters can also compete in an Egg Shoot for cash and other prizes. The basic entry fee is just $25.00 per gun. That’s cheap for a chance to win a bundle of cash, plus valuable prizes such as Shehane stocks and Nightforce optics. So get your best rifle, load up some ammo and head to the Hickory range located at 8216 Will Hudson Road, Lawndale NC 28090. The practice range will be open until 6:00 pm Tuesday-Thursday, but will close at 1:00 pm on Friday.
How to Get to the Hickory Shoot
Anatomy of a Hickory-Winning Rig — Brady’s Record-Setting 6BR
If you wonder what kind of rifle can win the big money at the Hickory Shoot, have a look at Terry Brady’s 42-lb 6BR. In 2010, Terry Brady won the Custom Class in the Hickory Shoot, setting an all-time record with a 99 score*. Terry was shooting a straight 6mmBR with 105gr Berger VLD bullets. His rifle looks “normal”, but it was actually purpose-built for Groundhog shoots, which have no weight limit in Custom Class. The fiberglass Shehane Tracker stock was stuffed with lead shot from stem to stern, so that the gun weighs nearly 42 pounds with optics. The Hickory winner, smithed by Mike Davis of Zionville, NC, featured a BAT DS action with a straight-contour, gain-twist Krieger barrel. The twist rate starts at 1:8.7″ and increases to 1:8.3″ at the muzzle. Terry was shooting a relatively moderate load of 30.5 grains Varget with Danzac-coated bullets. This load absolutely hammered, but Terry thinks the gun might shoot even better if the load was “hotted up a little.”
Minimal Recoil and Insane Accuracy at 500 yards
In the picture above you see the Hickory winner fitted with a 5″-wide front plate. This was crafted from aluminum by Gordy Gritters, and Terry said “it only adds a few ounces” to the gun. Mike Davis installed threaded anchors in the fore-end so the plate can be removed for events where forearm width is restricted to 3″. The plate is symmetrical, adding 1″ extra width on either side of the Shehane Tracker stock. Gordy can also craft a 5″ plate that offsets the rifle to one side or the other. Terry hasn’t experimented with an offset front bag-rider, but he thinks it might work well with a heavier-recoiling caliber. Terry actually shot most of the Hickory match without the front plate so he could use his regular 3″-wide front bag. Even with the plate removed, Terry’s Hickory-winning 6BR barely moves on the bags during recoil, according to Terry: “You just pull the trigger and with a little push you’re right back on target.” With this gun, Terry, his son Chris, Chris’s girlfriend Jessica, and Terry’s friend Ben Yarborough nailed an egg at 500 yards four times in a row. That’s impressive accuracy.
*The Hickory employs “worst-edge” scoring, meaning if you cut a scoring line you get the next lower score. One of Terry’s shots was right on the edge of the white and another was centered right between white and black at 3 o’clock. Accordingly he only received 27 points for each of the 300 and 500-yard stages. Under “best-edge” scoring, Terry would have scored even higher.
Share the post "Grab Your Guns — The Hickory Groundhog Shoot is April 4th"
Jerod’s Tactical Trio
Many guys are lucky to have just one accurate tactical rifle fitted with a custom barrel and high-end optics. Well forum member Jerod (aka Stinnett1981) has three!
Jerod calls his tactical trio the “Three Amigos”. All are built with Manners Composite stocks and Bartlein barrels. But there are three different chamberings. In order below (from top to bottom) are: .308 Win (Bartlein 5R, 1:10″ twist); .223 Rem (Bartlein 5R, 1:8″ twist);,and 6.5×47 Lapua (Bartlein 5R 1:8.5″ twist). Read on for a full description of each build.
The tan rifle is Jerod’s .308 Winchester. It has a Manners T4A stock, trued Rem 700 SA, Badger M5 DBM, and Bartlein 5R 10-twist HV contour finished at 23″. The optic is a Bushnell XRS 4.5-30X50mm FFP with G2 reticle scope.
The Green rifle is a .223 Remington. This has a Manners T4 stock, trued Rem 700 SA, Badger M5 DBM, and Bartlein 5R 8-twist HV contour finished at 23″. On top is a Nightforce NXS F1 3.5-15X50mm FFP with MLR 2.0 reticle scope. Jerod says: “This scope and reticle are awesome.”
The Black rifle is chambered for the 6.5-47 Lapua. Components are: Manners T4A stock, Stiller TAC 30, Badger M5 DBM, Bartlein 5R 8.5-twist bull barrel (1″ at muzzle) finished at 26″. The scope is a Nightforce NXS 8-32X56mm with NP2DD reticle.
Share the post "Los Tacticales — The Three Amigos"
These days, a smartphone is an indispensable tool for a serious shooter. Smartphones can forecast the weather, direct you to the range, map your terrain, calculate your ballistics, photograph your targets, and even measure wind velocity (with a $35.00 plug-in impeller).
Having all those capabilities is great… until your battery goes flat. Even the most advanced smartphone on the planet is nothing but a useless paperweight when you run out of juice. Thankfully there’s an affordable fix for that problem — back-up Li-ion battery packs with built-in solar chargers.
There are a variety of external power-packs on the market, some with solar panels, some without. These will charge smartphones, tablets, PDAs, and other mobile devices. We like the units with solar chargers because they can recover a little energy when you’re outdoors. You still need to plug them in to get a full charge BEFORE before you head to the range. But once fully charged, these back-up battery devices can get your smartphone back in action and keep it running all day long.
We like the Poweradd portable chargers*. These feature lithium-ion batteries, solar panels, and tough weatherproof shells. We’ve tried two models, the 8000 mAh Apollo 3 ($29.99, dual-port), and the original 7200 mAh Apollo ($19.99, single port). We purchased the 7200 mAh Poweradd (Photo above) before its third-generation bigger brother was offered. The original 7200 mAh Apollo has served us well. It can fully charge most smartphones a couple times, or smaller tablets once. As long as you make sure the Poweradd is fully charged before you leave home (since the solar charger is slow and secondary), this unit does everything it claims. This editor’s first-generation Poweradd Apollo has done yeoman duty for many months now. It has revived both an iPhone and a tablet. If I were to purchase a Poweradd unit now, I would get the Apollo 3, mainly because it offers two (2) charging ports compared to one (1) on the original Apollo. That lets you charge two devices at once.
* If you need even more power, consider the Poweradd Pro. This 23000 mAh powerpack offers Multi-Voltage (5V 12V 16V 19V) output, and has enough juice to run a modern laptop. It comes with a complete set of jacks/cables so it can work with almost any device. This kind of capability doesn’t come cheap — the Poweradd Pro sells for $109.99, more than five times the cost of our 7200 mAh Apollo.
Share the post "Juice on the Go for your Smart Phones and Mobile Devices"
Readers often ask for a good, authoritative resource on doping the wind and reading mirage. Many Forum members recommended M.Sgt. Jim Owens’ Wind-Reading Guide. With 22 sets of wind charts, this is offered for $12.95 as a printed book or in CD format. Owens’ Reading the Wind and Coaching Techniques clearly explains how to gauge wind speeds and angles. Owens, a well-known High Power coach and creator of Jarheadtop.com, offers a simple system for ascertaining wind value based on speed and angle. The CD also explains how to read mirage — a vital skill for long-range shooters. In many situations, reading the mirage may be just as important as watching the wind flags. Owens’ $12.95 CD provides wind-reading strategies that can be applied by coaches as well as individual shooters.
As a separate product, Owens offers a Reading the Wind DVD for $29.95. This is different than the $12.95 book/CD. It is more like an interactive class.
Played straight through, the DVD offers about 75 minutes of instruction. M.Sgt. Owens says “You will learn more in an hour and fifteen minutes than the host learned in fifteen years in the Marine Corps shooting program. This is a wind class you can attend again and again. [It provides] a simple system for judging the speed, direction and value of the wind.” The DVD also covers mirage reading, wind strategies, bullet BC and more.
Share the post "Wind Reading Resources from JarHeadTop’s M.Sgt. Jim Owens"
We are often asked, “Can you recommend a good reloading book that picks up where the typical reloading manual leaves off — something that goes into more detail about the processes involved.” There is such a book, and it’s fairly recent: Metallic Cartridge Handloading: Pursuit of the Perfect Cartridge, by M.L. (“Mic”) McPherson. Released in 2013, this 425-page book goes into greater depth than McPherson’s popular intro reloading guide, Metallic Cartridge Reloading. McPherson’s latest reloading treatise covers all aspects of the reloading process: the cartridge case; maintaining, improving and loading the case; the seating and reading of primers; the loading of propellant; bullets and the loading of bullets; accurate load development; internal and external ballistics; bullet making and casting; and reloading presses.
With hundreds of photos and illustrations, this book is a good reference for shooters getting started in precision reloading for accuracy. Compared to some other books on reloading procedures, McPherson’s new resource is more up-to-date, so it references more modern reloading tools and techniques. NOTE: This is NOT a reloading manual containing specific load data. Rather, it is a how-to book that covers the process of cartridge reloading from start to finish.
Reviews by actual book buyers: A great resource for handloaders although a little technical for beginners. I have been reloading for 40+ years and picked up some good ideas. — Loren R.
This is a book intended for people who have been reloading for a while. The book contains very detailed information about reloading. — Kaj H.
About the Author, M.L. (“Mic”) McPherson:
Mic McPherson, Technical Editor of Hand Loader’s Digest, is the author of numerous firearms resource books including Metallic Cartridge Reloading and Accurizing the Factory Rifle. He has written scores of articles for leading gun periodicals including Precision Shooting, The Accurate Rifle, Rifle Shooter, and Varmint Hunter Magazine. Mic also served as an Editor of the 8th and 9th Editions of Cartridges of the World.
Share the post "Pursuit of the Perfect Cartridge Book by Mic McPherson"
Report by Boyd Allen
This pistol belongs to Dan Lutke, a Bay Area benchrest shooter who publishes the results for the Visalia matches to the competitors and the NBRSA. He has been an enthusiastic competitor for an number of years, at various ranges, notably Visalia and Sacramento. The action is a Remington XP-100, to which a Kelbly 2 oz. trigger has been fitted. On top is an old Japanese-made Tasco 36X scope (these were actually pretty darn good). The Hart barrel (a cast-off from Dan’s Unlimited rail gun) was shortened and re-chambered for the 6x45mm, a wildcat made by necking-up the .223 Remington parent case. The custom stock/chassis was CNC-machined by Joe Updike from 6061 Billet Aluminum to fit the XP-100 action and mount a target-style AR grip with bottom hand rest. The gun was bedded and assembled by Mel Iwatsubu. In his XP-100 pistol, Dan shoots 65gr custom boat-tails with Benchmark powder.
TEN Shots in 0.303″ (0.289 MOA) at 100 Yards
How does Dan’s XP-100 pistol shoot? Look at that target showing TEN shots at 100 yards, with eight (8) shots in the main cluster at the top. The ten-shot group measures .303″ (0.289 MOA), as calculated with OnTarget Software. Not bad for a handgun! What do you think, can your best-shooting rifle match the 10-shot accuracy of this XP-100 pistol?
This diagram shows the most common 6x45mm wildcat, which is a necked-up version of the .223 Remington parent cartridge. NOTE: The dimensions for Dan Lutke’s benchrest version of this cartridge may be slightly different.
Story tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Share the post "That’s Precision: 10 Shots in 0.29 MOA — with a Pistol!"
Even wonder how a pump shotgun works? Then watch this fascinating video from MidwayUSA. The operation of a pump-action shotgun is illustrated with a special cut-away version of a Winchester Model 12. The shotgun has been modified to reveal the inner workings. This cut-away Model 12 still loads and ejects dummy shells, but you can see how the lugs, slides, locks, ramps, springs and other internal parts work. You’ll be amazed how complicated this old pump-gun is. (The Model 12, Winchester’s first hammerless shotgun, is one of the most popular scatterguns ever made. Over 2,000,000 were sold.)
Skip Ahead to 3:00 to See Cut-Away in Action
To see how the Model 12 works, you can skip forward to the 3:00 minute mark in the video. The first part of the video shows how the Model 12 was “sliced and diced” to expose the inner workings. Larry Potterfield of MidwayUSA explains that “the factories often used cut-aways as sales tools to show how a specific model operated”. In addition the U.S. Military used cut-aways for training purposes.
Here is the cut-away completed. Even the pump grip has been sliced to reveal the inner workings.
Here’s a close-up, showing how the bolt retracts to eject a round.
A round has been picked up from the feed tube, and then is lifted into the chamber.
Share the post "How It Works: Cut-Away Winchester Pump-Action Shotgun"
Here’s a chance to save $50-$80 on a Nikon scope. These optics will work fine for a hunter or varminter. Now through April 26, 2015, shooters can save up to $80 on select Nikon PROSTAFF 7 and MONARCH 3 long-range riflescope models. PROSTAFF 7 series scopes feature a 30mm main body tube and ample elevation adjustment range. Both PROSTAFF 7 and MONARCH 3 product lines offer multi-coated lenses, a 4x zoom ratio, and spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets. These Nikon optics are covered by Nikon’s No-Fault Policy and Limited Lifetime Warranty. CLICK for Rebate info.
To learn more about Nikon’s Long Range Precision promotion for PROSTAFF and MONARCH optics, visit www.nikonpromo.com.
Share the post "Nikon Scope Promotion — Save through April 26, 2015"
Jerry Miculek — that name is synonymous with revolvers. But Jerry is also one heck of a rifleman, as he demonstrates in this video.
Three Shots Standing at 400 Yards in 4.37 Seconds
For those of use who usually shoot from the bench, hitting a silhouette target at 400 yards from an standing position (unsupported) would be a big challenge. Here Jerry Miculek makes it look easy.
In this video, Jerry hits not one but THREE c-zone targets at 400 yards. And — get this — he does this in under 4.4 seconds starting with his rifle laying on a support. It took Jerry two tries (on his first run he hit 2 out of 3 in 4.65 seconds). On the second attempt (see video starting at 2:19), it takes Jerry just 4.37 seconds to shoulder his rifle, aim, and fire three shots, each hitting a separate steel target. Wow. That’s truly remarkable. Most of us would need ten seconds (or more) just to get the scope on the first target.
Trust us folks, this ain’t easy. It takes remarkable marksmanship skills to shoot with this kind of precision at this kind of pace. As Jerry would say himself, “Not bad for an old guy who needs glasses”.
Share the post "3 Targets, 400 yards, 4.37 Seconds — Offhand"
In most parts of the country it’s still too early for a prairie dog safari. Spring has barely sprung, and the critters haven’t come out to play. If you are missing the fun of a prairie dog hunt, here’s an arcade-type shooting game that lets you blast the critters to your heart’s content. Just use your mouse to move the crosshair and click to shoot. A hit on a can is worth one point, a hit on a prairie dog is worth two.
Hint: Try re-centering the crosshair after each shot — that way you never have to move more than halfway across the screen when the p-dog pops up. Go to it and have fun!
WARNING: LOUD AUDIO with SHOOTING NOISES!! If you click on this link, a page will load and very loud audio starts running automatically. If you are at work, turn down your speakers!
NOTE: When the new page loads, if you click “Play Game” the loud talking will stop.
Share the post "Practice Varmint Hunting with Free Online Shooting Game"
We know many of our readers live on farms or ranches. When driving around these properties you may want to keep a firearm handy for pest control or to deal with feral animals. If you live in the country, chances are good you have utility vehicles — such as ATVs, Gators or tractors — and transporting guns safely to allow for easy access is essential. In this video, American Handgunner magazine Editor Roy Huntington highlights some inexpensive solutions for safely transporting guns on various outdoor utility vehicles. Roy shows set-ups for an E-Z-Go Cart, a Honda 4×4 ATV, and a John Deer tractor. Of course, as Huntington explains, always practice the four firearm safety rules. Roy cautions that you should never transport a shotgun or rifle with a round in the chamber, and be very careful when getting in or out of the vehicle if you have a gun in your hands.
New Polaris ATV Features Non-Pneumatic Tires
If you’re thinking about buying a ranch or hunting vehicle, here’s something to drool over — the new Sportsman WV850 H.O. from Polaris. This hard-working ATV features non-pneumatic tires, which employ a lattice structure developed for the U.S. military. The Sportsman WV850 H.0. features 600-lb load-carrying capacity (on stout steel racks), power steering, and a massive 11.75 gallon gas tank. That’ll get you out into the backwoods!
American Handgunner video find by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Share the post "Transporting Firearms on Farm, Field, and Ranch Utility Vehicles"